Tag Archives: twitter

Playing for Pizza

As previously mentioned I’m a bit of a twitter stalker. I have recently hunted down a number of the authors who are visiting Harrogate on the site, mainly to look at if they have any books coming out but also to sneak at peak at what they might be having for tea (a favourite topic of discussion here in the office, stir fry for me in case you want to know)

I’ve often wandered if there is some kind of link between the genre of books people like and the genre of music they listen to. Both me and the Sister like rock music (bordering on heavy metal but I don’t like to admit that in case people get the wrong impression of me, I have no piercings and don’t own any faded t-shirts with skulls on them!) and as we’ve established we both have a borderline obsessive love of crime fiction.

My initial glance through the world of twitter did seem to confirm my suspicion, a fair few had put rock music in their likes (although even more seemed to rate a love of pizza as a top interesting fact about themselves – I like pizza is that another common link?) However the more I looked in depth the more I realised that actually there are seemingly no common factors other than a love of reading crime.

It would be interesting to do a survey to see if there is some common thread linking the types of people who like certain genres. It can’t be linked to genes as neither my Mum or Dad read them (in fact its debatable if my Dad has ever read anything except Farmers Weekly) and although my Gran is a big reader she’s more a ‘chick lit’ ‘fireside romance’ kind of women than a serial killer chaser.

Now don’t get me wrong I read other types of books too. I like the odd girly book myself as I think sometimes you need a break from death and destruction but the one genre I always come back to is ‘crime’. I’ve never actually counted up how many books I own but if I did I imagine the majority would be crime related, or at the very least mysteries. Then again most books have an element of mystery, whether its girl meets boys and which one she will fall for, or a fantasy novel good versus evil plot (never read any so can’t really comment)

I suppose it depends what you define as Crime as the genre is so incredibly broad it could pretty much cover everything. According to Wikipedia it’s all much more detailed than that. Crime novels are classifield as those told from the point of view of the perpetrator, whereas detective novels are those focussing on the solving of a crime, and mystery fiction are ‘whodunits’ where a vital piece of information is kept hidden until the climax. Interestingly one sub-genre is called ‘locked room mystery’ where things happen in a locked room. I did recently read ‘Locked in’ by Kerry Wilkinson although I’m not sure one book can be counted as a sub-genre.

Personally I’ll stick to the general term of crime for the novels I like, this is after all the Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Writers Festival Challenge, not the crime, mystery, and detective writers festival challenge. That’s way too much of a mouthful, I’m still waiting for TOPCWFC to start trending on twitter. Maybe if I keep the stalking up I’ll get there!

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Close enough to kill

A couple of weeks ago I met a friend for lunch and one topic of conversation was facebook (Not a book, although if it were a book, if you ask me Facebook accounts would be on a par with the telephone directory. We all have one sitting around and don’t really want to get rid of it, but have no interest in 99.9% of the people in it. Am I the only person who uses the phone book once the first time it arrives and only then to look myself up?)

At  lunch we were discussing the fact that lots of people with accounts on facebook have a huge amount of ‘friends’ but how many of these do they ever actually meet up with, or even have the ability to contact outside of Facebook means? They are virtual not real.

That’s one of the most exciting aspects of the Theakstons Crime Writers Festival, all these people that I’ve only seen on the fly covers of books are actually there in real life, walking around, signing books and having face to face conversations.  However, having a conversation with Martina Cole last year (where incidentally she told me my name would make a good name for a prostitute in one of her books) does not make me her friend. In the same way ‘poking’ someone on Facebook does not make them a friend.  I’m as nosy as the next person, and do use Facebook as a way of looking at what people are doing, but that tends to be people who I haven’t had a conversation with in 10 years. If I want to know what a real friend is up I’ll talk to them.

Saying that though, the crime loving part of me does enjoy the emergence of Facebook and especially twitter. Last year I was lucky enough to see Patricia Cornwall talk in Harrogate, and on my way home I set up a twitter account as she had mentioned that she was a prolific user. That evening I was therefore able to see that bad weather had grounded her flight and she had to drive all the way to Heathrow to fly back to America, rather than boarding at Leeds Bradford. I found this ability to track her movements rather fun, but there is still a big part of me that feels this is bordering on stalking. I know obviously I can only see what she wants to put on but still it somehow feels wrong and rather creepy.

I bet the ability to track people’s movements is becoming more and more a part of the serial killers armoury.  It must certainly save them time, no more of that hanging around on street corners waiting for the victim to return. They can just check out a potential victims status whilst sat in the warm with a nice glass of Chianti and wait until they see posted ‘loving spinning class tonight, now time to hit the shower’ then have a leisurely drive round!

Another conversational topic at this particular lunch was of course books (you may have gathered that a lot of my conversations involve books, its not even limited to friends, people at work, strangers on the bus, I bore them all!) I’ve recently introduced Patricia Cornwell to my friend, in return they suggested Carl Hiaasen, describing them as comedy crime capers. Not someone I’ve read before, although I’m always happy to try new books. Unfortunately however, as he’s not on the list for the festival I may have to wait a while. Maybe I should contact Mark Billingham via twitter and ask him to invite Carl Hiaasen, I am after all his twitter friend!

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Filed under crime fiction, Crime writing, Theakstons Festival